Legislators to flex new supermajority with 9 veto overrides
House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos met Thursday morning and announced they're ready to get to work. Their first order of business: overriding 8 bills vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist and one $9.7 million budget veto destined for Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
The duo, fortified by a new veto-proof majority, plan to seek the legislative override during their scheduled organizational session on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Also added to their list is a plan to allow the state to use $31 million in federal stimulus funds to provide energy rebate for homeowners who bought solar air conditioning units and postponing the effective date of another law that will require increased septic tank inspections to protect groundwater.
Their one-day session will focus only on bills that are non-controversial, can be handled in a single day, and on which there was overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, Cannon and Haridopolos said. Not included will be Crist's vetoes of the controversial teacher tenure bill (Senate bill 6,) the bill requiring that all women seeking an abortion submit to an ultrasound, and the bill enabling political parties to create political funds controlled by legislative leadership.
The overrides are possible because legislators won 5 additional seats in the House, bringing the Republican majority to 81, and two new seats in the Senate, bringing the majority to 28. The last time the legislature overrode vetoes was in 1997 when Lawton Chiles was governor and the Republicans controlled both chambers. They overrode Chiles' veto of a partial birth abortion bill that year, as well as a bill relating to hearsay evidence.
The effect of this year's proposed veto overrides are:
* Restore $9.7 million to Shands Teaching hospital.
* HB 569 - Repeal the requirement that local governments can't require homeowners to separate yard trash and regular waste.
* HB 981A - Allow property owners whose land is classified with an agricultural exemption to continue the exemption after the property is sold.
* HB 1385 - Allow more flexibility in implementing the petroleum cleanup law.
* HB 545 - Repeal requirement that homes in hurricane-prone areas be given a "wind resistance" rating when their home is sold.
* HB 1516 - Create a database of state-owned lands at the Department of Environmental Protection.
* HB 1565 - Tighten legislative control over agency rule making.
* HB 5603 - Change workers compensation laws by changing return-to-work policies in state law.